Home Insight How important is it for a data centre to offer remote hands?

Remote hands is a service some data centres provide alongside colocation where they supply an engineer to take care of hardware maintenance on your behalf. It has the potential to save your company money, reduce downtime, and free up your IT staff to focus on other business-critical tasks.

[If you’re new to this topic, learn the other factors for comparing a data centre]

IT engineer performing remote hands

Remote hands is so valuable thanks to its flexibility; if a data centre has experienced engineers, remote hands could cover anything as simple as switching a server off and on, or something more complex like:

  • Unpacking and deploying new hardware
  • Diagnosing a problem and fixing it

How remote hands will reduce your downtime

The list of things that could cause your IT to experience downtime is endlessly long, and while hosting with a data centre will protect you from power and network failure, without remote hands there’s nothing protecting your IT against hardware failure.

Even if the fix is as simple as turning part of your system off and on again, without remote hands your engineer(s) will need to visit the data centre. Not only is this inconvenient for them, but while they're travelling your system is still down for your employees and your clients. On crucial days where you're close to deadlines, or expecting a lot of traffic (like Black Friday) this extra downtime will be particularly damaging for your business.

If your hardware fails in the middle of the night, your IT staff won't be in a position to respond quickly to it, while an already-awake data centre engineer will be right there and can be reached with a phone call or support ticket. This is how using the remote hands service from a data centre will significantly reduce the length of time your system is down.

If you work with different time zones, or overnight processing, you can’t afford to have your system down at any time, so it will be especially valuable to have the option of remote hands to fix the issue quicker.

Save your IT department time and energy

Modern IT departments are responsible for keeping the company running, as well as upgrading and improving on your IT infrastructure. If your engineers are having their time wasted with travelling to and from the data centre for simple fixes, the progress of your company’s IT will suffer.

However, using remote hands to free up your IT department will let them focus on upgrading the IT your staff and clients use.

This will save your company a significant amount of money over time as your IT staff will be much more efficient:

  • Reduce the need of hiring additional IT staff
  • Your IT staff will have more resources to discover cost-effective solutions
  • Up-to-date systems will help with talent acquisition/retention and winning new business

"Support is outstanding, I cannot fault them, they always respond in a timely manner and always go above and beyond." 4D Customer feedback – October 2020

Keep your staff safe

At the time of writing this blog, the UK Government’s advice is to work from home when possible to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19. While data centres are doing everything they can to be a safe environment, an unnecessary trip is always best to be avoided when it comes to Covid-19.

At 4D Data Centres we have made several changes to make us more Covid-safe, including offering free unlimited remote hands to our clients to limit people visiting the data centre

In addition to keeping your staff safe, a data centre that doesn’t provide remote hands will have people visiting more regularly, creating a greater risk of losing the ability to access your servers if there is an outbreak at the data centre and it has to temporarily lockdown.

Remote hands will also be a valuable service in a wide range of situations which would otherwise be incredibly disruptive to your businesses, including:

  • Pandemic
  • Any event that prevents travel (Bad weather, protests, etc.)
  • Your IT team being unavailable for an extended period for whatever reason

Should you find a data centre that offers remote hands?

A data centre providing a remote hands service should be a necessary criterion, up there with high-quality resiliency and redundancy infrastructure. The simple fact is that a remote hands service will reduce your downtime, save you money, and free up your IT staff for other business-critical projects, so to work with a data centre that doesn’t provide it is missing out on one of the most valuable benefits of working with a data centre.

"The service from your team is efficient and knowledgeable every time." 4D Customer feedback – July 2020

If you’re interested in working with an award-winning data centre operator who has never had a power failure, then get in touch.

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